The Director of Finance directly oversees the City’s financial functions consisting of the following departments: Finance, Tax Assessor, Information Technology, Purchasing, Tax Collector and Risk Management. Each department plays a vital role in the overall operations, financial and business infrastructure within the City government while delivering essential services.
The Finance Department is responsible for safeguarding the City’s assets by accounting for all financial transactions and periodically reporting the financial condition of the City. The Director of Finance strives to maintain tax rates at reasonable levels without adversely impacting quality City services by employing best practices related to debt, cash, and financial management.
How We Operate
The Department of Finance has multiple divisions; each has a common goal to serve the public by ensuring City services are provided in a cost-effective manner. Operating both independently and interdependently, the Department of Finance is the hub of all financial activity for the City of Danbury. Our departments collaborate with each other and other City departments for budgeting, accounting, payroll, pension, risk management, and benefits administration.
Sustainable Financial Strategies
The Department of Finance recognizes that to move forward we must create our own economic recovery as we “grow smaller” and attempt to redefine the way a City government operates more efficiently in the delivery of services. Tight spending restrictions and hiring freezes continue as precautionary measures against the negative impacts on revenues resulting from the severe economic recession and lackluster recovery. Consequently, the City considers the cost/benefits of outsourcing before hiring an employee.
Rating Agency Standing
The City of Danbury maintains its “strong” economic position by adhering to strict financial policies. All three rating agencies cite the City’s diverse tax base and continued development and job growth in Danbury. Moody’s Investor’s, Standard and Poors, and Fitch Ratings have rated the City as Aa1, AA+, and AAA from respectively. Our Triple AAA Rating reflects economic flexibility, stability and resiliency in the eyes of the rating agencies. Danbury has a strong and diverse economy located in Fairfield County, CT. Given ongoing economic fluctuations, the City of Danbury appreciates the importance of promoting growth in various industries, aiding Danbury’s long-term economic future and tax rate stability.
Annual Budget Process
The Department of Finance is responsible for developing the City’s annual budget, which is an 8-month collaborative process involving all City Department Heads, City Agencies and Authorities. The overall objective is to develop a plan that satisfies the citywide mission statement to provide services to residents in the most cost-effective manner. As a result, the Proposed Budget for FY 2018/19 budget, was reduced by over $4M and adopted in May 2018.
Upholding the City of Danbury’s Top Priorities
The Department of Finance ensures that from a budgeting perspective, our priorities are focused around the City’s Statement of Mission. There is a delicate balancing act that requires collaboration with the City Department Heads and ensuring budgetary compliance while providing essential services to the citizens of Danbury. We are required to think and plan strategically. As the City continues its steady growth trend, the Department of Finance must create an agile spending plan that not only addresses our priorities but also is capable of shifting those priorities should revenue assumptions fall short.